Opinion >

Valuable lessons being learned from China's experience

Source: China Daily | 2019-10-29

[Photo by China Daily]

By Elia G. Kaiyamo

Following our struggle for liberation from the yokes of apartheid, the Republic of Namibia under the leadership of the SWAPO Party attained independence on 21 March 1990, and established its diplomatic relations with the People's Republic of China. The strong bilateral relations that have existed between Namibia and China since the establishment of diplomatic relations were elevated to a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership in 2018.

Africa, and Namibia in particular, joins the world in celebrating the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China, the world's second-largest economy and a key member of the international community.

The PRC is a member of the United Nations Security Council and is a friend of Africa, and its development since the launch of reform and opening-up has benefited the peoples of developing countries through significant inclusive partnerships that promote trade and investment in infrastructure.

China's socio-economic transformation is the fruit of the people-centered approach in policy-making by China's leadership, and it pursues a foreign policy of peace and peaceful coexistence, respect for international law and the sovereignty of all countries both big and small. It is also a firm advocate of common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security, and committed to advancing South-South cooperation and North-South dialogue.

China's laudable development model which is the fruit of its national experience, offers many lessons in areas such as the promotion of education, healthcare, enterprise, culture, innovation, science and technology and, ways to cope with climate change.

Africa can also draw many lessons from China on how to alleviate poverty and pursue sustainable development. Since the founding of the PRC, the Communist Party of China and the Chinese government have led people in the great fight to eliminate poverty, highlighted by a campaign which since the reform and opening-up was launched, has focused on development-oriented poverty alleviation in rural areas.

The 18th CPC National Congress in 2012 made poverty elimination the primary task; made it a defining indicator in completing a moderately prosperous society in all respects and, laid out plans to win the final battle against poverty.

In recent years, China has established and prioritized the continued improvement of mechanisms, policies and laws for environmental protection. The rapid improvement in the quality of its environment has also been attained by using alternative clean energy sources including natural gas, water, nuclear, wind and solar energy which as of 2018 made up 22.1 percent of China's total energy consumption.

It is working to accelerate the process of clean and low-carbon transformation as it promotes a circular economy.

While learning from China's experience, Namibia is also benefiting from the practical cooperation between the two countries. The record number of visits among leaders of Namibia and China has culminated in cooperation in various fields such as education, people-to-people exchanges, tourism, export of Namibian beef to China, and the construction of infrastructure of national significance such as roads and the extension of the Walvis Bay Harbor which is essential to Namibia's goal of becoming a logistic hub of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region. As a signatory to the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) and the Belt and Road Initiative Namibia expects to further benefit from its relations with China.

No mountain or valley shall separate two nations working together toward a common goal of global peace, security and harmony. May the People's Republic of China under the guidance of the strong leadership of the CPC with President Xi Jinping as the core continue to advance toward realizing the Chinese Dream of national rejuvenation.

The author is the ambassador of the Republic of Namibia to China.